Mining

Mining

Mining and processing is becoming increasingly complex. Middel & Partners has 17 years of experience working in the sector. Securing access to high quality assets is more challenging than ever and requires: an ability to work effectively with Governments, communities and joint venture partners over Africa, as well as geological, technical and commercial excellence. Huge project portfolios and cap-ex budgets demand rigorous strategic planning, yet uncertain future prices mean that clients ultimately must place some large bets.

Our primary expertise in mining is in Platinum, Gold, Manganese, Coal, Fluorspar, Copper and Chrome.

Our Services

Middel & amp;Partners is a specialist firm in the mining industry and has been providing expert services to some of the largest global mining companies. We have a tight-knit group of experienced industry specialists who bring a practical results driven approach to the mining industry.

Audit, IFRS & Tax

Our mining team specialises in understanding the distinct requirements of the sector, operating in an environment where policy, legislation and budgetary issues can make delivery of cost-effective services quite demanding.

 

Our experience in the mining sector includes accreditation with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) as registered auditors and serving as reporting accountant specialists to listed entities.

Our external audit services are primarily geared towards the mining sector for:

  • Small cap listed mining entities – Mainboard & AltX
  • Large private companies and
  • Exploration entities

Middel & Partners mining audit team consists of individuals who are solely focused onserving the mining industry – not manufacturing, retail or other industries.

  • Audits, reviews & compilations of financial statements
  • Audits in accordance with IFRS
  • Internal control reviews and risk assessments
  • Agreed-upon procedure reports and special reporting
  • New accounting standard implementation
  • Forensice accounting and dispute resoution
  • Outsourcing of internal audit functions

Our internal mining audit team works closely with both the external auditors and members of the audit committee. The audit function is augmented by strategic analysis and a proactive approach to changing market forces.

Our mining tax specialists assist clients in restructuring their tax affairs to ensure tax efficiency and compliancy. Our corporate tax teams are commercially minded and provide business advice on the following tax issues:

  • Preparation of income tax returns
  • Preparation of applications for exempt status
  • Transaction Structuring/Analysis
  • Planning for Joint Ventures & Affiliations
  • Mining Tax
  • Royalty Tax
  • Assistance to Internal Tax Departments

JSE listed companies in the mining sector require specialist reporting. Our services include:

  • Technical Review of Annual Financial Statements
  • Technical Review of Interim Financial Statements
  • Technical Review of Press Releases for full year and interim financial statements
  • Attendance at board/audit committee meetings per annum as IFRS Advisors
  • Access to technical consulting and advisory services

Of the major industries in South Africa, the mining industry presents many opportunities for companies with Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) certification. B-BBEE compliance can be a crucial key to obtaining mining licenses, government tenders or joint ventures. 

Middel & Partners extensive experience in B-BBEE serves to assist businesses in a seemless verification process. The mining industry does not have a DTI issued B-BBEE Sector Code similar to some other industries in South Africa. Stakeholders in the mining sector agreed to apply The Broad-Based Socio-Economic Empowerment Charter for the South African Mining and Minerals Industry issued by the DMR. Mining companies are measured in terms of the Generic Codes of Good Practice, whilst suppliers to mining companies may be measured in terms of either the Generic Codes of Good Practice or a relevant Sector Code based on their type of operations. 

Middel & Partners was one of the first audting firms to receive accreditation by the IRBA.  A dedicated B-BBEE department serves mining companies nationwide.  BEE Navigator is a software system developed in house at Middel & Partners.  The system helps to streamline the B-BBEE verification and certification process.

 

Advisory

The focus of our advisory team is to help clients yield the highest sustainable value from their mining portfolios:

  • Investment Evaluation and Negotiation teams identify and secure a steady stream of high quality assets from acquisitions, mergers or joint ventures.
  • Ensure mines deliver the highest output at the lowest unit cost. Using proven performance improvement tools to identify the full potential from existing assets and the overall portfolio provided. Our OPEX and Investment Evaluation Teams have a proven track record of delivery the required results.
  • Identify the full potential of mining assets and operations. Create a culture of continuous improvement that ensures sustainability post our engagement.
  • Research team provides valuable information on commodity price forecasts and benchmark information that is critical in decision making. Consultants tailor proven analytic methods - including full potential analysis, delay reduction - to the unique needs of each mining client. This is coupled with a practical, results driven approach

Our services are geared towards solutions for the extraction and beneficiation of an ore resource that:

  • Is a realistically achievable option that can be implemented;
  • Maximises the return to shareholders measured through financial value, which has an acceptable risk profile;
  • Optimises the extraction of the known resources in a technically efficient and safe manner - taking into account uncertainty in the key variables, constraints and opportunities that may have a bearing on the extraction of the resource;
  • Is determined on the basis of total cost of ownership in such a way that the lowest overall total cost of ownership is considered;
  • Remains robust taking consideration of volatility in internal and external factors and assumptions;
  • Considers the impact of potential changes in the external environment;
  • Considers sustainable development issues in the solution in such a way that promotes the client’s ongoing license to operate in the long term;
  • Fits strategically with the Client and the Business Units’ strategy including future option value.
  • Strategy formulation and strategy execution for any mining company or project
  • The purpose and components of strategy within Joint Ventures within the mining sector
  • Implementing strategies that can help build and sustain competitive advantage within this competitive environment
  • Turning a viable mining opportunity into a focused strategy and well-defined business initiative
  • Developing an effective business plan for a mining company/ project or joint venture
  • Creating "pitches" to sell the idea to investors, customers, partners and key employees
  • Preparing a company for listing on a major stock market
  • Attracting the top talent in mining and vital resources required to turn a vision into reality
  • Evolving the strategy, organization and leadership model as the business grows
  • Recognising and managing risk, while creating and measuring value
Mining Strategy

Middel & Partners designs and builds financial models for the mining sector.  We understand clients have different requirements and we seek first to understand the problem, and then offer solutions that add real value. With many years modeling experience, we can assist within the whole spectrum of initial specification, designing, building, auditing and reviewing models.

We mainly use Excel (featuring initial project specification, design, building, audit and risk review) to develop successful flexible models that add real value and aid decision-making.  We find that our clients are familiar with Excel, thereby negating the issues that may arise in using specialized software.

We design and build the following models:

  • Financial models
  • Capital budget models
  • Operating cost estimate models 
  • Company budget models
  • Valuation models
Financial Modelling

Approach

Many models fail through inadequate planning, lack of flexibility or coding errors. Middel & Partners has developed a straightforward modelling method, which delivers consistency, accuracy and flexibility for a wide range of applications within the mining sector. 

Design

Model design and specification are important for improving clarity and reducing errors. Particular attention must be given to the flow of information through the model and the ease of future maintenance.  Middel & Partners provides an initial specification that seeks to:

  • Define the problem to be solved;
  • Set out the information available;
  • Examine all the assumptions and inputs;
  • Set out the main stages;
  • Define the outputs and reports;
  • Outline the documentation

Audit financial models

Many companies have no formal approach to spreadsheet development and do not establish formal systems for auditing models. Failure to audit working models can lead to costly errors and lost time at a later stage. Middel & Partners provides services and software for auditing financial models and will provide you with detailed reports on your models. 

Middel & Partners also combines business processing and financial modeling to provide valuable solutions to our clients when making decisions about mining infrastructure capacity. We are able to simulate business processes and evaluate the economic outcome for each one of the processes. 

  • Simulate and select the most beneficial strategy prior to capital investment
  • Design processes to withstand the rigors and uncertainty of system randomness and variability
  • Reveal hidden value and eliminate wasteful bottlenecks in existing implementations and internal processes. 

Software used:

  • ARENA
  • SIMEO
  • VisualSPAR
  • We evaluate a mining company’s current financial position and its likely future performance taking into account forecast production, metal prices, inflation, operating cost, stay in business capital, expansion capital recoveries etc.  
  • We perform desktop, pre-feasibility and feasibility studies on both a company and project level

ROA is used an alternate methodology for evaluating capital investment decisions involving a high degree of managerial flexibility – i.e. research and development projects or new product decisions.  Unlike the simple net present value (NPV) method used in traditional finance theory, ROA treats an investment opportunity as either a single option or a compound option (a sequence of options).  The traditional NPV method does not value managerial flexibility correctly when it relies on the false assumption that the investment is either irreversible or that it cannot be delayed.

A real option itself is the right, but not the obligation to undertake certain business initiatives, such as deferring, abandoning, expanding, staging, or contracting a capital investment project.

We have unlocked significant value for our clients using Real Options that would not be possible with the traditional investment evaluation methodologies. 

Monte Carlo methods are used in mining to value and analyze complex projects, portfolios and investments. It entails simulating the various sources of uncertainty affecting their value, and then determining their average value over the range of resultant outcomes.

Middel & Partners use Monte Carlo Methods to construct "stochastic" or probabilistic financial models as opposed to the traditional static and deterministic models. Here, in order to analyze the characteristics of a project’s net present value (NPV), the cash flow components impacted by uncertainty are modeled - incorporating any correlation between these, and mathematically reflecting their "random characteristics". These results are combined in a histogram of NPV (i.e. the project’s probability distribution), and the average NPV of the potential investment - as well as its volatility and other sensitivities - are observed.  Middel & Partners makes use of both Oracle Crystal Ball and Palisade @Risk Software for simulation purposes, enabling us to:

  • Explore the key success factors and potential risks that will affect business or project performance
  • Determine how well those success factors and risks are being managed
  • Maximise the value attained through efficiencies by calculating the optimum output and return on investment

We also use OptQuest for portfolio analysis, where we determine an investment strategy that optimizes profit while taking into consideration the uncertainty around the annual returns of each asset. Other applications for optimization include workforce planning of employees, configuration of equipment for production scheduling, the location of facilities for distribution, and tolerances in mining design. 

Middel & Partners provides independent and objective valuation consulting services for valuating mining companies, business complexes, investment centres or resources. A solid understanding of the sector ensures reliable valuation opinions and advice to assist in decision making.

Valuation Methodology

  • Assist clients defining a valuation methodology;
  • Evaluate the client’s existing investment evaluation practice or develop one;
  • Present a summary of outcomes - deterministic case summary, valuation matrix, Tornado Plot, Probabilistic evaluation summary using Monte Carlo simulations

Strategic Choices and Investment Alternatives

Middel & Partners assists  clients with the strategic choices to be faced, such as: what mining method, what mining area, what size mine, or the single alternative that is to be optimised in the next phase for full value capture of the investment opportunity.

We compare and contrast the differences between the alternatives and demonstrate how, based on an understanding of value and risk, the recommended alternative was chosen. We use Deterministic Cases, Tornado Plots, NPV range and NPV Probability distribution to compare alternatives and distinguish the recommended alternative to proceed to the next phase

We describe how the ‘Optimised without’ and ‘Optimised with’ alternatives have been chosen to demonstrate the NPV of the opportunity.

We provide:

Independent Expert Assessment Reports

We have senior professionals who specialise in preparation of expert reports for public and other purposes.  Our reports are used in the mining sector for:

  • Takeover defence preparation
  • Acquisition considerations
  • Capital investment decisions

Financial Audits

We judge how effectively a company’s financial and operating data reflects its business. Our processes include examining the ratios and cash-flow measures of a company’s operating, financing and investing performance. As part of the due diligence process we prepare forecast reports on company and project level. 

Our mining professionals will liaise with management and scrutinise external sources in order to assemble data. This data is used in the valuation of a company or project using financial modelling techniques and probabilistic analysis including Monte Carlo simulations.

Through a combination of zero based and activity based costing techniques, we compile operating cost estimates for current operations and capital studies. By working closely with design engineers and our clients, our goal is to compile an accurate and defendable operating cost estimate which maximises the ultimate business case.

We use Microsoft Excel to develop flexible models that add real value and aid in decision-making. Zero-based costing starts from a "zero base" and every activity within an operation is analysed for its needs and costs. Estimates are then built around what is required to run the operation from first principles. This approach ensures that inappropriate activities are not included in the estimates.

Activity based costing is a methodology whereby costs are built up from all activities and sub-activities that constitute a process or operation. Costs are driven by their applicable cost drivers to simulate the process of individual activities, incurring costs as they are planned. Activity-based costing provides a more accurate estimate, leading to more accurate decision making. It increases understanding of costs and cost drivers.

Here are the key steps we follow in compiling an operating cost estimate:

  • Define the Scope & Boundaries of the operations to be modelled
  • Develop the Estimate Cost Structure
  • Identify and / or develop cost drivers
  • Determine and/ or develop unit rates
  • Develop the operating cost model and sub-models
  • Compile and analyse the operating cost estimate
  • Optimise the operating cost profile
  • Determine risk

Middel & Partners thorough understanding of the mining sector and extensive experience in certification results in expert B-BBEE advisory being made available to clients. This provides companies with a definite advantage in engaging in any verification, certification or related B-BBEE transactions. 

Middel & Partners ensures that your B-BBEE transaction is concluded and finalized in a manner that not only complies with The Broad-Based Socio-Economic Empowerment Charter for the South African Mining and Minerals Industry but also makes business sense. As mining companies are obliged to comply with this charter in their dealings with their suppliers we also assist mining houses with helping their suppliers to comply.

Middel & Partners have a strong work ethic and relationship with various professional firms with specific areas of expertise in engineering, geology, metallurgy. These include:

  • RSV Consulting Engineers
  • Fox Projects
  • RBS
  • BFluor

Our Clients

  • Western Platinum Ltd
  • Lonmin Plc
  • Anglo Platinum Ltd
  • BHP Biliton
  • Wescoal Holdings Ltd
  • Anker Coal
  • Xstrata Coal
  • Cronimet (Pty) Ltd
  • Sephaku Holdings Lld
  • Shanduka Ltd
  • African Rainbow Minerals Ltd
  • Mopani Copper Mines
  • Glencor
  • Development Bank of Southern Africa

Partners responsible for this industry

  • Divan Swanepoel
  • Coenie Middel